Jacee and Austin
How We Met
Austin and I initially met this side of a turn-row in the heart of the Mississippi Delta under the smoldering heat of the sun. We were in Leland, MS for a field day surrounded by soybeans, corn, and cotton. We shared lunch and a conversation under a big, white tent. After this day, I wouldn’t get to visit with Austin again until a year later. Fast forward to a Young Farmers meeting in the middle of nowhere, Alabama. I am the speaker for the evening at a camp house with mostly men. Working and being involved in agriculture, this is something I have become used to on a Thursday night. Earlier in the week, one of my customers took me to Austin’s family farm where I met with his brother in the hayfield to visit about their cattle operation. My customer had told me about Austin and how he had just graduated from Auburn and was back on the farm. He also put in a good word about him.
At the meeting, I was hoping Austin would show. I remembered how enjoyable he was to be around and the thought-provoking conversations we had a year ago in the Delta. As we were getting ready to eat our burgers and start the program, Austin walked into the meeting last minute. After the meeting, it was late and I still had quite the drive to make home. Starting down highway 80, my phone rang and the number that showed up was not recognized. Typically, I let these numbers go to voicemail, but decided to answer. Low and behold, it was Austin, calling to check on me and make sure I was getting home okay. During our conversation, he politely asked me to spend time with him and some of his family that weekend.
Next thing you know we are spending more and more time together. A few weeks after we had started spending time, Austin and I attended a small-town rodeo. We watched the young cowboys try their hand at calf roping from the tailgate of a truck. Afterward, we danced to a live-band and had a great time. The next day, Austin asked me to be his girlfriend. I knew the connection and relationship Austin and I had was special. He is exactly who I’ve been praying for in a partner. The first time I met Austin, I knew he was a genuine and purposeful person. I was captivated by our conversations and his politeness toward me. His character, personality, and attitude helped me realize what qualities are important in a future spouse and life partner.
how they asked
Austin asked me to marry him on March 10, 2018. He asked under my favorite tree covered in Spanish moss, in the middle of a pasture on the farm. For months, Austin had told me to be prepared for his brother’s surprise birthday the day he asked. He had it lined up where I was going to help his sister-in-law with their new baby girl, Ellis, while she prepared for the party. I had the Alabama State Cattlemen’s convention this day, as well. Driving to the farm from the convention, it rained on me the entire way. Once I got to the farm, it was cool and calm and the rain had stopped. I arrived and got dressed to go to his brother’s surprise party. On our way, he asked if I minded going to look at hayfields they had sprayed earlier in the week with a product I manage. I travel most of the time for my job, so this request did not seem out of the ordinary. However, I didn’t want to be late to help with the baby, but he insisted we had a little time.
As we drove through the pastures to the hayfields, he was asking me recommendations on when to spray for weed control and which products to use. Then, he stopped the truck and asked me to get out and look at a typical “prairie” weed- Cherokee Rose. This species is commonly found throughout the Blackbelt or Prairie region of Alabama and I think it is the toughest weed producers are faced with! To my pleasant surprise, we weren’t going to look at that species of rose. We walked up to the big tree covered in Spanish moss and the trunk was covered in a beautiful floral display. Before Austin got down on one knee, he described me using the letters of the name, read the sweetest letter he wrote to me and we had the most heartfelt conversation. He pulled the ring out of his cowboy boot and the rest in history! I have never felt more overcome by peace and the presence of God until this day.
Austin’s brother, sister-in-law and a lifelong friend were hiding out in the pasture capturing the candidness of the proposal and we are fortunate to have most of it on camera! After the proposal, we called family and close friends to share the news. Then, Austin had another surprise in the form of an after proposal party with some of our friends and family! We are truly surrounded by such a great support system who show us love, kindness, and Godly direction.